Sparknotes 4 TTTC

Sparknotes 4 TTTC - "The Ghost Soldiers after seven months...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
“The Ghost Soldiers” . . . after seven months in the bush I realized that those high, civilized trappings had somehow been crushed under the weight of the simple daily realities. I'd turned mean inside. When, in “The Ghost Soldiers,” O’Brien tries to exact revenge on Bobby Jorgensen for his failure to treat him competently, he concedes that he is acting irrationally. Though it is difficult for O’Brien to admit, after a certain amount of time in Vietnam he realizes that he is capable of evil. The only way for him to deal with hurt is to hurt back. The terms O’Brien uses juxtapose his previous life—one of intellectualism and striving for success through studying—with his life in the jungle, where accolades like Phi Beta Kappa have no relevance. The foreign, academic terms “Phi Beta Kappa” and “summa cum laude” contrast starkly with the simple, blunt descriptions of life in the “bush,” just as the civility of his college years contrasts starkly with his newfound meanness. Summary O’Brien recalls that he was shot twice—the first time, images from Gene Autry movies race through his head, and he ends up on the lap of Rat Kiley, the medic. During and after his treatment, O’Brien appreciates Kiley’s skill, courage, and ease. When O’Brien returns from his recovery almost a month later, Kiley has been wounded and shipped off and a new medic named Bobby Jorgenson has taken his place. When O’Brien is shot the second time, Jorgenson is incapable of treating his shock, and the result is a harrowing, painful experience for O’Brien. The realization that he was near death for no good reason leaves O’Brien seething—he vows to exact revenge on the frightened, incompetent Jorgenson. He spends more time in the hospital and then is transferred to the battalion supply section, a far more comfortable and less dangerous assignment. Meanwhile, his backside hurts and he is forced to sleep on his stomach and smear antibacterial ointment on himself several times a day. During the miserable nights, he renews his vow to make Jorgenson pay. When the company comes for a routine operation to where O’Brien is recovering, O’Brien meets the helicopters. He listens to stories from his friends—especially one about a soldier who decided to go for a swim and ended up with a disease that was later treated by Jorgenson—but he is most concerned with finding Jorgenson. Mitchell Sanders encourages O’Brien to leave Jorgenson alone, saying that he is one of the Alpha Company now and implying that O’Brien is no longer a member of the company. The next morning, O’Brien runs into Jorgenson, who apologizes for his inept treatment of O’Brien, saying that he was scared and that since O’Brien was shot, he has felt a great deal of remorse. O’Brien begins resenting Jorgenson for making him feel guilty. O’Brien attempts to enlist his friends in his plans for revenge, but the only one who will concede to
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

Page1 / 4

Sparknotes 4 TTTC - "The Ghost Soldiers after seven months...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online